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Galatasaray weather second-half Schalke surge

Published: Tuesday 12 March 2013, 23.07CET
FC Schalke 04 2-3 Galatasaray AŞ (agg: 3-4)
With Galatasaray under pressure, Umut Bulut confirmed the Turkish club's place in the quarter-finals with a 95th-minute breakaway strike. 
by Ian Holyman
from Stadion Gelsenkirchen

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Published: Tuesday 12 March 2013, 23.07CET

Galatasaray weather second-half Schalke surge

FC Schalke 04 2-3 Galatasaray AŞ (agg: 3-4)
With Galatasaray under pressure, Umut Bulut confirmed the Turkish club's place in the quarter-finals with a 95th-minute breakaway strike. 

Gelsenkirchen-born Hamit Altıntop produced a sensational strike to help send Galatasaray AŞ into the quarter-finals for the first time since 2001 at the expense of former club FC Schalke 04.

Roman Neustädter's first UEFA Champions League goal had put Schalke 2-1 up on aggregate, but Cimbom turned this round of 16 tie on its head in five first-half minutes. Having previously failed to score for the side he joined last summer, Altıntop opened his account with a sublime long-range drive before Burak Yılmaz's eighth of the competition gave Fatih Terim's Turkish champions the half-time edge in Germany.

It was blunted slightly by Michel Bastos's effort shortly after the hour, yet a series of Fernando Muslera saves combined with substitute Umut Bulut's late breakaway winner ensured Schalke's defiant second-half display was in vain.

Backed by a significant portion of the Stadion Gelsenkirchen crowd, the visitors enjoyed the better of the opening 45 minutes. Back in the country where he inspired Chelsea FC's triumph last May, Didier Drogba quickly showed his brief Chinese sojourn had done little to diminish the powers that so cruelly denied FC Bayern München, shooting powerfully to test Timo Hildebrand, who then rushed from his goal to smother at Selçuk İnan's feet following a cleverly executed reverse pass from the Ivorian.

Habitually dominant in the air, Drogba more than met his match, however, when Benedikt Höwedes beat him to a corner and the ensuing goalmouth melee was calmly ended by Neustädter's side-foot finish. Going ahead understandably soothed the hosts, previously troubled by their guests' sharp movement, though Schalke collectively held their breath when Emmanuel Eboué picked out Wesley Sneijder in space and the Dutch international's first-time attempt curled just past the far post.

The same upright offered succour to Galatasaray, however, when Altıntop's wonderful dipping shot swerved out of Hildebrand's reach and rebounded into the net off the woodwork. With Schalke still gathering themselves after seeing the local boy level the tie, their opponents pounced. Though fortune's hand sent the ball spinning forward from Albert Riera's tackle on Marco Höger, Burak brushed off Höwedes and lifted the ball over a hestitant Hildebrand.

Only a timely hand, stuck out by an off-balance Hildebrand, prevented the Turkey striker swelling his impressive tally still further. A third for Galatasaray would surely have quelled Schalke's ambitions of a quarter-final berth, designs which would have received a significant boost but for Muslera smartly getting down to block Teemu Pukki's shot.

Instead Bastos, following Galatasaray's failure to regroup after Höger had hit the bar, fired high into the net on 63 minutes to renew Schalke hope, belief that briefly surged further when Julian Draxler brilliantly danced goalwards only for Muslera's raised arm to block his effort. Having all but seen the Istanbul club through, the goalkeeper's quick throw began the counterattack capped by Bulut to clinch a 4-3 aggregate triumph.

Last updated: 25/09/14 4.01CET

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